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The newly-appointed chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Motors admits that the culture of the Japanese company needs to change, for the brand to move forward.

Trevor Mann, the long-time Nissan executive that was appointed as COO of Mitsubishi after the alliance between Renault-Nissan extended to Mitsubishi late last year, acknowledges that fundamental cultural change is needed.

Speaking to the media at the 2017 Geneva motor show, Mann said in regards to whether cultural issues at Mitsubishi need to change: “Yes of course it does, that’s why we have changed the organisation within Mitsubishi, that’s why Mitsubishi asked for Nissan’s help.”

Even so, while the brand has had its share of issues in the last 12 months, Mann says the core of the business is in good hands.

“Mitsubishi is not full of bad people, far from it, they are really nice people, competent engineers that want to go and do a good job. Why certain things happened in the past? We’ve had to look at that and make changes.”

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According to Mann, Nissan is seeking to change some very essential issues with the company internally.

“A couple of fundamentals is that we are ‘re-engineering our engineering’, the processes that we go through to develop our technology and platforms and vehicles – just to make sure that everything is robust and clear, and obviously follows a compliant path.

“We are reinforcing our organisation so that we have very good governance and very strong business ethics, so that also we are very open. So if somebody sees something going wrong, they are not in fear of raising their hand and saying ‘please have a look at this’.

“It doesn’t mean to say we are a bad company. Obviously we can’t hide from the fact that some bad things have happened, but there are lots of reasons for those things, so we need make sure we address every single one of them.

“So in terms of the company organisation, in terms of the structures, cross-functionalities, transparencies and business ethics, we are reviewing to make sure we are a robust and compliant company,” Mann said.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will have its future product plan secured for Mitsubishi before the end of March, with the potential for the brand to drop nameplates such as Lancer and focus more on its core SUV and light commercial vehicle range.

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